Jennifer Myers, CA
Jennifer is an author who believes in the power of sharing our stories, even the ones hard to tell. Through her own journey of adversity, Jennifer found her love for restorative justice where she helps people take their own stories of pain and turn them into magic. Jennifer is an expert interviewer, TEDx speaker and coach, whose niche is helping others uncover the moments that light-up their lives and strike at our hearts. She has been published in Salon Magazine, The Huffington Post, and other literary journals. Her memoir was published in 2013, and she has appeared on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, and Good Morning America as a prison expert. Whether our past is filled with sparkly fond memories or sprinkled with strife, Jennifer knows every moment shapes our lives into a story that is special to tell.
As a Story Terrace writer, Jennifer interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.
“Mom, look at it!” I’m six years old, delighted with the tiny red polka-dotted creature in my palm.
“It’s a ladybug,” she said. I said the word to myself, liking the way the “L” trilled on my tongue.
I said this word for the next week, over and over, sometimes out loud, but mostly to myself. Ladybug, ladybug, I see the ladybug. I found them all over that week, on my bedroom window, in my covers, on my knee while I ate my Cheerios. I liked the ladybug.
“It’s good luck,” my mom said, when I found one on Wednesday and let it climb onto my finger. I carried it to her, then carefully shook my hand until it landed on the kitchen counter. I watched it climb the cabinet as my mom looked back at me from where she stood at the stove. “Ladybugs are lucky and sweet, but I think you’re sweeter,” she laughed as she ruffled my hair.
I thought she was teasing, but I wasn’t sure. I don’t like “sweet,” I thought to myself as I hugged my arms closer around me. My dad grew corn and beans, and children like me—sweet and stoic—with values “city people didn’t seem to have” he told me.
“You’re from Iowa, right?” my college friends would later ask me. “No, it’s Ohio,” I replied each time they made the mistake. But they were right—Iowa, Ohio—they were all the same to them. Life on a farm, in a family, in a place where people are “sweet” and are taught to be “nice.”
Even at age six I felt exposed when my mom said words like “sweet” or “nice.” Like the words were bad, and I was weak. I didn’t want to be sweet—I wanted to be lucky. I pictured a shoebox with holes in its lid where I could store ladybugs. I could feed them grass and other things ladybugs ate, and they could make more ladybugs.
If I grew more ladybugs would I have more luck?
By Saturday, the ladybugs were gone. Suddenly I didn’t see them anymore. Where had they gone? Maybe they were there, and I wasn’t.
All I knew was that I liked the way they made me special and lucky, like they were.
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